Think of almost any disease or health condition and there is likely a prescription medication available for it. Pharmaceutical companies offer medications for everything from hair loss to cancer to common infections. Some of the drugs cure the ailments while others just lessen symptoms to make the health issue more manageable. Of all the prescription drugs available from these pharmaceutical companies, some of them are beneficial to our general health and well-being while others are not, primarily because of the associated side effects of some of the drugs.
Weight loss pills are some of the most publicized drugs available, with much of the publicity trending toward the negative. It seems as if the best weight loss drug to ever hit the market is being touted to consumers with regularity; and each time it is a different pill. The frequency with which weight loss pills fade from the public conscious is likely a result of the numerous problems that appear to be associated with each new wonder weight loss drug. A recent article in The Telegraph (Popular weight-loss drug under review over liver failure fears) points to problems with Orlistat, which is sold under the names Alli and Xenical, as possibly being linked to liver toxicity. Rimonabant, sold under the name Acomplia - and sibutramine, sold under the name Reductil, are two other weight loss drugs that have been in the public spotlight due to serious side effects. The safety concerns associated with anti-obesity drugs illustrates that these pills are not beneficial to public health.
Erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil, which is more commonly known as Viagra, is also not without its serious side effects. Primarily, the side effects associated with Viagra occur in men with cardiovascular problems, specifically those who are on nitrate drugs. In rare instances, deaths have even occurred from Viagra use. While the pills can legitimately help the problems associated with erectile dysfunction, the risk of serious complications from use may be enough to deter some men from using the drugs.
Even though the idea originally gained popularity in the 1950s as a potential weight loss drug, HCG drops are still a popular anti-obesity method with some dieters. HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone found in pregnant women. The use of HCG drops to lose weight in a three phase process where phase one is eating as much as you want for two days before going on a strict 500-calorie diet for up to 40 days. In phase three, you can eat what you want as long as you consume no sugars and starches. Manufacturers claim that following this process results in a weight loss of one to two pounds daily. The problem with this weight loss method is that the low daily calorie limit means that your body is not getting much in terms of nutrition, which leads to impaired brain function. Additionally, the body starts to burn off muscle mass for its nutrient requirement, which is detrimental to your health. A variety of other side effects can occur with HCG drop usage. These side effects include insomnia, hyper stimulation of ovaries in women, vomiting, depression, headaches, mood swings, swelling of hands and legs, and shortness of breath. Since weight loss can be achieved through healthy methods, such as exercise and a plant-based diet, HCG drops are not a beneficial weight loss drug.
Popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) Prozac, which is also sold under the generic name of fluoxetine, is an antidepressant commonly used to treat depression and other related disorders. Since serotonin has been proven to play a role in depressive disorders, use of Prozac can be beneficial in treatment for those disorders. In some instances, serious side effects such as increased depression, severe skin blistering or rashes, tremors, incredibly high fevers, seizures, fainting, vomiting and hallucinations can occur. More common, less serious side effects include drowsiness, upset stomach, weight changes, sleep problems, dry mouth and cold-like symptoms. In many people, Prozac and other SSIDs can be effectively used to treat depressive disorders when all other attempts at treatment fail.
For people with high cholesterol, the safest way to lower those cholesterol numbers is with a diet change. However, many people simply are not willing to make that kind of sacrifice when there are pharmaceutical products like Lipitor that can do it for them. Lipitor is designed to lower cholesterol numbers in as little as two weeks – provided the patient begins eating healthier and exercising. Obviously, healthy eating and exercise alone will improve cholesterol levels. But, they will not give you side effects such as kidney failure, liver failure, muscle pain, joint pain, tendon problems, upset stomach and skin rash. Instead, those are all possible side effects of Lipitor. The more serious problems, such as liver and kidney failure, are not as common as the offer side effects, but they are still a very real possibility for anyone who takes Lipitor. Since patients taking Lipitor have to exercise and eat healthy in order for the drug to be effective, Lipitor is not beneficial for the treatment of cholesterol. Instead, people with high cholesterol can skip the possible side effects and just implement the exercise routine and healthier diet to lower cholesterol on their own.
While all prescription drugs have the possibility of side effects, some of them, such as Prozac, are quite beneficial because the drugs offer one of the best ways to manage the condition for which they are intended to treat. Other prescription pills, such as Lipitor, may offer more harm than good when the pills are designed to treat a condition that can be adequately managed without any medication. Ultimately, though, the benefits of one prescription drug over another are up to the individual who is considering taking the pills.